When Riot Games opened its Sydney office in 2015 it did so with a literal splash: in addition to creating an actual artificial reef for Nautilus, it also founded the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League. Five years later, alas, things are different, with Riot announcing yesterday that its Sydney office will be closed, and the OPL will be dissolved.
In a statement co-signed by North America and Oceania managing director Malte Wagener and Global Esports director Tom Martell, it’s made pretty clear that Riot’s hopes for the OPL haven’t come to fruition. “At Riot Games, we want to build competitive and sustainable leagues that drive commercial growth and fan engagement and that support professional play as a full-time career,” the statement reads.
“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of our teams and players, the OPL has not met our goals for the league, and we do not believe that the market is currently able to support the league in its current form.”
Riot’s Sydney office is “primarily focused” on the operation of OPL, hence its closure, though it’s unclear at the time of writing how many workers have been affected. As for League of Legends pros in the Oceania region, they’ll be added to the LCS competitive territory in the US and Canada.
Adding that OCE players “will no longer take an import slot on LCS rosters,” the statement confirms that it will still hold qualifying tournaments in Oceania in 2021, for MSI 2021 and Worlds.